Thursday, August 22, 2013

Famous Wartime Speeches and Quotes

General Douglas MacArthur

Researching is one of my favorite parts of writing. I have enjoyed it since my 11th grade year of high school when I wrote that dreaded research report. However, it’s because of my 12th grade report that I now write World War II novels. My chosen topic—Pearl Harbor. I’ll forever be grateful to my English teacher for his insight on history.

Yesterday, I was browsing the Military, History, and HBO channels for a wartime movie. I came across the story of Douglas MacArthur and his campaign in the Philippines. One infamous speech he gave brought to mind an idea for this article today—famous World War II quotes. So I did a little digging and found a few that stood out above the rest. There were many incredible speeches made by admirable U.S. Military Officers, however due to the overrun use of slangs and curses I chose to leave those out. A simple search on Google will bring up innumerable speeches made my our military leaders of the time. 

The following quotes are the ones I thought best for this article. Most will be familiar but some may be new to you...

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

“The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific….

“…With confidence in our armed forces-with the unbounding determination of our people-we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.” –President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his famous, “Day of infamy” speech. December 8th, 1941

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” --Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

“To have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all!…Hitler’s fate was sealed. Mussolini’s fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder.”--Winston Churchill

"I came through and I shall return." –General Douglas MacArthur

"Give us the tools and we will finish the job."—Winston Churchill as he addressed FDR in February, 1941

“Shoot me in the chest.”—Benito Mussolini (A quote directed at the people who later execute him)

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.”—Anne Frank

“As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.” –Albert Einstein.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Please Pass The Tissues

A movie is known to move people in ways that connect with their hearts and minds; luring them into the plot, connecting them with the characters, and yes, even bringing them to tears as the viewer subconsciously hopes and waits for that forthcoming tear-jerker scene.

I believe this is what every writer hopes to accomplish. The thought of creating a fictitious world and fictional characters with the hope that readers will fall in love with the hero and heroine and become enchanted with their story of fight, love, and endurance. The belief that the reader will delve into the plot and see with their mind’s eye the scenes unfolding in black and white is what drives a writer to create scenarios, build up the plot, leave cliffhangers then give the reader what they are desperately craving by the end chapter—a tearful, but happy (and sometimes sad), resolution to the situation at hand.

Movies that have you ‘passing the tissues’ such as The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Courageous, or Old Yeller  will always stick somewhere close to the heart—in some cases changing the lives in certain individuals.

But creating these heart-wrenching, emotionally-driven scenes are not easy. Clever usage of adjectives and adverbs are crucial when a writer plays out a scene on paper. There is no movie magic to make that moment come to life. It lies on the shoulders of the writer to make that scene crystal clear so it naturally plays out as the reader turns the pages.

To help with that I’ve included a scene from Hallmark’s The Lost Valentine. Reason 1 because this particular scene plays out raw emotion and is true to life. Reason 2, the dialogue is short—like in books. And reason 3—I love World War II movies!

Please watch at least the first 3 or 4 minutes if you do not wish to view all 8 minutes of the segment then I invite you participate in an exercise using the comments section below.

Did you feel the emotion?

What did you see? How did the characters look, react, feel?

This is what readers crave…feeling.

Now it’s your turn: Based on the scene you just watched, use your creative mind to write out what you witnessed.

(**This is just for fun and will not be critiqued.)